People came by train, bicycle or car — and then on foot, once they found a parking place.
Some wore Santa hats that were fuzzy, or sparkly, or covered in lights.
They sang along to “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “O Christmas Tree.”
Children got a photo with Santa, or Recyclesaurus Rex, or Joey Hawkins, dressed as Charles Dickens.
They rode in strollers and pedicabs, covered wagons and little red wagons.
Some adults came as human pets for English bulldogs, and German shepherds, and Great Danes, and a pug puppy.
Beneath trees draped in red lights and blue lights, and one tree bathed in ghostly white, people drank wassail and coffee. Although, for an exceptionally balmy Friday night in November, the water and lemonade were also good choices.
They ate popcorn and candy canes and funnel cakes.
They cheered for Seniors in Motion and clapped for Nutcracker dancers and said “hello” to old friends.
Some brought toys to be donated, helping to fill a waiting truck for Vision Ministries, an outreach program of Denton Bible Church.
Denton turned on the lights at the Square on Friday night, a community celebration with more than 12,000 people to mark the beginning of the holiday season.
Hundreds of volunteers helped put on the 24th annual Denton Holiday Lighting Festival this year, according to city employee Janie McLeod.
For Denton Main Street program director Julie Glover, who has helped coordinate the event for more than 20 years, it may be another day before her Christmas season begins.
“After all this gets cleaned up, it’ll start for me,” Glover said.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.